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Posts Tagged ‘The Stations of Solitude by Alice Koller’

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

With many annuals already planted, we were able to make a dent in the weeding side of the work board list.

Mike’s Garden

Mayor Mike’s garden is a few blocks east of us.  If it were to the west, we would see the weeds on our way to the post office and would keep up with it better.  As it was, I was surprised at how weedy it had gotten.  Al;l the photos are after we got done…

Mike's garden, looking south

Mike’s garden, looking south

red Oriental poppy

red Oriental poppy

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

looking south

looking south

tall white allium

tall white allium (Mt Everrest, I believe)

Pulmonaria and boxwood

Pulmonaria and boxwood

Red Barn Arena and Diane’s Garden

We tried to polish off the last two little annuals jobs, going up Sandridge Road to plant some Blue Denim diascias in three of the Red Barn planters.  I just like to use this one because of the name, since blue denim goes well with horses and riders and barrel racers, it seems.

Allan planting at the Red Barn

Allan planting at the Red Barn

Diascia is not as hardy here as the tag implies.

Diascia is not as hardy here as the tag implies.

The plants were a bit leggy,  Next time around, I will probably sheer them for more compact blooming.

The plants were a bit leggy, Next time around, I will probably sheer them for more compact blooming.

At Diane’s next door, we were able to add a couple of annuals and some hardy fuchsias.  We could not finish the job because her new little bicycle planter was not yet set out for us to plant.

Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) should add a surprising sweetness to this container garden by the back porch at dusk.

Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) should add a surprising sweetness to this container garden by the back porch at dusk.

We next swung quickly by the Basket Case Greenhouse to pick up a few perennials for our next job,

The Boreas Inn garden

When we edged the Boreas beds last Friday, I felt that the garden beds cried out for some more plants.  Our rather brief stop today resulted in about ten more perennials in the ground.  Allan took all the photos here.

added one more Salvia 'Hot Lips'

added one more Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

Allium albopilosum

Allium albopilosum

Allium multibulbosum

Allium multibulbosum nigrum and ‘Mount Everest’

green santolina

green santolina

Driving through Long Beach on the way to our last job of the day, I saw a tall single blade of grass sneering at me from atop a shrublet in one of the Long Beach planters.  This could not stand! We circled the block, parked, and Allan went across and got it, and also found a dandelion.

All I did was point and watch from the van.

All I did was point and watch from the van.

Penttila’s Chapel by the Sea

We finally got back to Penttila’s Chapel, after doing a spring clean up way back on March 2.  Many small weeds awaited us.

before

before

after

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before2

before, south side

after

after

 

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before

after

after

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before

after

after

I cannot cross this weeding job off the work list yet, unfortunately, because a bed at the north end of the property still has lots of grass among the kinnickkinnick groundcover.

I hope we can get to this next week.

I hope we can get to this next week.

Working at the mortuary garden always makes me think of my mother, who died the week we first helped install this garden in September 2010 and whose body was actually at the mortuary during the day we, by arrangements made before her death, helped plant the garden.  Of course, today I pondered death for awhile, and was reminded that last week I finished an excellent memoir with the best chapter on mourning that I’ve ever read. More on this at the end of this post.

We saw a pretty bird nearby as we were packing up to go home.

a pretty little goldfinch

a pretty little goldfinch

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

On the last homestretch in Ilwaco, we used the last of our burble water to quench the thirst of seven of the Ilwaco planters.

ilwaco

We are trying to rotate through watering them a few a day, since right now we don’t have time for one big watering session every three days.

bonus book report: The Stations of Solitude by Alice Koller

You may recall that I was smitten with Alice Koller’s An Unknown Woman.  Last week, I read her second memoir…at bedtimes, not all at once.  I would give it twenty stars if I could instead of the five star Goodreads rating.  I love it so much, I just have to share some passages.

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I appreciate and agree with her non-ownership attitude about her dogs:

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On learning to co-exist peacefully and welcomingly with snakes and other critters, in a woodland home near Washington DC.

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Her description of bloodroot is of special interest since Todd gave me a bloodroot plant for my birthday.

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Of course, the theme of the book is solitude, a subject dear to me:

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In the chapter on “Colliding” (conflict with others):

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I certainly have experienced that!

The chapter on Mourning is the best exploration of that subject I have ever read.  Her first dog, Logos, and her father, are her two most mourned loved ones.  If you don’t take seriously the love for a dog, or if it would pain you to read of mourning by someone who does not believe in an afterlife, I don’t recommend it.

I won’t share the passages from it here because it would make you so sad, whether or not you mourn.  Seek the book out if you might find the chapter on mourning to be helpful and cathartic.  I just read my favourite parts of that chapter all again  and it is much too intense to share even brief passages from it in a (mostly) gardening journal even in a book review of a deeply beloved book.

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